Cars & Motorcycles
Practical Classics

Practical Classics April 2017

Practical Classics magazine has a 30-year tradition of delivering the very best, hands-on classic car experiences to its readers. Every staff writer and contributor works on and restores their own classics. Each issue is packed with: * Rigorous buying advice * Real-world product tests * Inspirational classic driving features * Fascinating historical insight Practical Classics is also a campaigning title, taking the concerns of classic car owners to Parliament and keeping its readers' classics where they belong - on the road. So come and join PC in the workshop - the kettle's on.

United Kingdom
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13 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
welcome to the workshop

‘I’ve bought everybody tea and doughnuts.’ Matt ‘The Butler’ Tomkins ‘Would you mind sweeping the floor while you’re there.’ Danny ‘Lord’ Hopkins ‘A nice meat pie… nom, nom, nom…’ John ‘ Nibbler’ Simpson ‘I don’t want them to know it’s my SAAB.’ James ‘Light Lunch’ Walshe ‘It’s £40 per hour – or you’ll get spannered.’ Chris ‘ABBA’ Redmond ‘I’ll sort your panelwork for you, if you’re lucky…’ Alex ‘The Troll’ Rankin I love our little NEC gathering, it’s a great way to get into the new classic year. It combines beautiful cars with the skills and effort that go into making them beautiful. It celebrates restoration talent and enthusiasm in a spectacle like no other. This is why it has become so popular, so quickly. Creating and producing content for the PCCCRS along with the live performance at the show itself has been…

2 min.
the big picture

When Rover introduced a V8 engine in 1967, it joined a very select band of British motor manufacturers. Rolls-Royce and Daimler both had V8s, Bristol and Jensen were buying-in American V8s… but that was it. Rover’s V8 came from GM’s Buick division, and had powered compact models from Buick, Oldsmobile and Pontiac between 1960 and 1963. Rover was pushing for more sales in the USA, and the head of its American operation, Bruce McWilliams, reckoned that the best way to get them was to use an American-sized engine. Rover’s MD, William Martin-Hurst, asked him to find a US V8 they could buy in, but in fact found it himself when he stumbled upon a Buick 215 in late 1963. He chased Buick for the manufacturing rights, and the deal was finally…

1 min.
rover v8 in 5 pictures

The Buick City plant in Flint, Michigan (now demolished), where Rover Engineers first met the 215 V8. 680,000 215 V8s were made by General Motors. Almost a million Rover V8s in various guises were eventually made. The last aftermarket units were put together in 2011 by MCT of Weston Super Mare. The EFi SD1 Vitesse was as far as the V8 would go in Rover cars because the link-up with Honda provided a new V6 engine for saloons. From 1982 V8 production was owned by Land Rover Ltd. Engines were sold to many manufacturers, including Morgan for use in the Plus 8. The V8 remained in Land Rover production until 2004. The last one, a 4.0-litre in a Discovery Series II, now belongs to British Motor Museum.…

1 min.
starting handle

‘The show is a temple to classic car salvation’ It was my favourite ever classic car show moment. Our huge but friendly restoration show full of enthusiasts at the NEC had been stealthily infiltrated by ‘an investor’. Stalking the bustling halls in a cheap suit and a clipboard, he approached an elderly couple seated in front of their shiny classic and made his move. ‘How much?’ he enquired. The couple looked confused. He leaned in towards them and persisted: ‘What would you take for it?’ Glancing at his wife, the owner politely explained the car was not for sale, to which our speculator blustered: ‘Everything is for sale!’ With that, and quite unexpectedly, the elderly lady erupted. ‘Now look here!’ Much finger waggling ensued. ‘We’ve had this car for nearly fifty years.…

1 min.
more clubs, cars, sales and stands

After three successful years, Britain’s fastest growing classic car show, The Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show is expanding in 2017. Taking up residence at Birmingham’s NEC for three days, adding an extra day to the heady mix, from Friday March 31 to Sunday April 2. We have over 130 clubs and approaching 1000 cars confirmed – more than ever before. Once again each club will be working away on their projects ‘live’, dispensing advice and demonstrating skills to visitors making the show, once again, the event for real enthusiasts. Those telly chaps, Mike Brewer, Fuzz Townshend, Ant Anstead and Jimmy De Ville have confirmed attendance and, if last year is anything to go by, will be walking the halls and enjoying the banter. We’ve again unearthed some fascinating relics…

1 min.
what will pc be getting up to?

ON THE PC STAND we’ve got two outstanding restorations… including a home-restored Lotus Esprit Series One. We will also be revealing the winner of this year’s Restorer of The Year competition… ON THE LIVE STAGE Danny, James and Matt will be holding court… as Danny’s Interceptor restoration is finished live and the unique Austin Westminster Auto estate project is taken to another milestone – being started and driven for the first time in four decades. On top of that there will be a cavalcade of PC favourites, celebrity interviews and general banter. THE SKILL SHACK RESTORATION theatre will be dispensing knowledge and wisdom. Michael Coman and his team from Leeds College will be doing live demonstrations on Matt Tomkins’ Morris Minor Convertible project.…